Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) SOP-Hyderabad
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INCOME TAX APPELLATE TRIBUNAL
Sub: Court Proceedings – Hearing through Video Conference –
Guidelines and Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) – Regarding
(i) ITAT Hyderabad Zone Advisory dated 14.03.2020
(ii) Office order dated 16.03.2020 of Hon’ble President, ITAT
(iii) Office order dated 22.03.2020
(iv) Order dated 23.03.2020 of Hon’ble President, ITAT
(v) Order dated 31.03.2020 of Hon’ble President, ITAT
(vi) Order dated 14.04.2020 of Hon’ble President, ITAT
(vii) Ministry of Home Affairs Order No.40-3/2020-DM-I(A)
(viii) Office Order dated 16.04.2020 of Hon’ble President, ITAT
(ix) Office Order dated 17.04.2020
(x) Ministry of Home Affairs Order No.40-3/2020-DM-I(A)
(xi) Office Order dated 03.05.2020
In the light of procedure evolved by the Hon'ble Supreme Court and various
Hon'ble High Courts and also under able guidance of the Hon’ble President, ITAT, the
Delhi Zone of ITAT has vide its Circular dated 27
April 2020 issued Guidelines and
Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for hearing the extremely urgent matters through
Video Conferencing. We are adopting it for our convenience to evolve the Guidelines
and Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for hearing the extremely urgent matters
through Video Conferencing by the Benches falling in the jurisdiction of Hyderabad
The Guidelines and Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to take up the hearing
of extremely urgent matters through Video Conferencing by the Benches falling in the
jurisdiction of Hyderabad Zone as per the modalities/directions laid down by the Delhi
Zone of ITAT, with suitable modifications would be as under:
That prayer to be made by the Authorised Representatives (“ARs”) or the
Departmental Representatives (“DRs”) or the concerned assessee in-person by
way of a signed application containing a synopsis of extreme urgency not
exceeding one page. After scrutiny, the Registry shall list the matter pointing
out defects, if any, before the Bench presided by the Zonal Vice President or
a Bench nominated by him/her (Designated Bench) and communicate the
date and time of hearing through Video Conferencing to the Petitioner/AR
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In all matters involving extreme urgency, the Petitioner is first required to file
the complete Petition/Application in soft copy (scanned PDF Format in Black
and White in minimum of 200 DPI) with complete scanned copy of the
supporting Paper Book, if any, along with POA through email to:
be filed in PDF FORMAT (Black & White 200 DPI).
In case of any difficulty, the following Nodal Officers of ITAT be contacted:
Nodal Officer for ITAT,
Nodal Officer for ITAT,
Sri BH Sudheendra
Sri KSS Sharma
That party filing the Urgency-Application should ensure that a soft copy of
the application along with complete enclosures has been made available to
the Department before filing with the Tribunal or at least at the time of filing
with the Tribunal at following email addresses:
Email of office of CIT-DR for
Email of office of CIT-DR for
In case of any difficulty, following Nodal Officers of Income Tax Department
may be contacted:
Nodal Officer of office of CIT-DR for
Nodal Officer of office of CIT-DR for
Sri RV Madhav (ITO)
Prabir Kumar Paul (ITO)
All such Urgency-applications shall be processed by the Registry and posted
for hearing before the designated Bench, preferably on Wednesdays and
Fridays with respect to applications received up to 1.30 PM on Mondays and
The Urgency-application, must, inter alia, clearly contain the case-details (e.g.
ITA No. or S.A. No., etc.) and contact-details of the AR/Party in-person like
e-mail ID, mobile number with alternate number(s), camp/office address
stating Pin Code, etc.
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Applications and the enclosures shall be separately scanned, and the file
names shall be clearly mentioned and placed in a zipped single folder.
Few Examples are:
(Folder) ITA-1230-HYD-2017-ABC Co Ltd
ITA-1230-HYD-2017-(1)-Urgent Hearing Application
ITA-1230-HYD-2047-(2)- Form 36 with Grounds of appeal
ITA-1230-HYD-2017-(4)-Form 35, Grounds of Appeal and
Statements of Facts before CIT(A)
ITA-1230-HYD-2017-(7)-Case Laws Paper Book
(vii) That all the Urgency-applications shall include a separate paragraph(s) with
an undertaking to the effect that physical copies of Petition, Paper Book,
documents relied upon in the Petition, Challan confirming payment of
Tribunal fees or other charges, if any, shall be filed at the earliest once the
normal working of Tribunal is restored.
(viii) That further the Urgency-application shall include a separate paragraph giving
consent that the matter may be taken up through the video-conferencing
mode. It is to be specified whether he or she would link to the Hon’ble Bench
by video conferencing through his or her own desktop or laptop or mobile
phone or any other device. The hearing of the Urgency-application and / or
the case through video conferencing shall be conducted only through the
approved software or the platform, and specific guidelines in this regard are
That the parties shall not be permitted to rely upon any document other than
the documents duly filed along with the Urgency-application in conformity
with the extant office order.
That no adverse orders would be passed in the absence of applicant; so however,
in case of filing of Urgency-application for early hearing, a communication for non-
attendance is expected at lease a day in advance from the applicant.
That the hearing of all regular matters/appeals at all Benches of Hyderabad Zone
unless specifically mentioned for hearing on account of extreme urgency as per point
No.2(i) to (ix) herein above shall remain suspended till 17.05.2020 or until further
orders, whichever is earlier.
The next dates of hearing of such adjourned matters shall be notifies on the website
That the entry of Advocates/ Chartered accountants/ Authorized Representatives/
Practitioners/stake holders during this period in ITAT premises is strictly barred, unless
permitted by the competent authority or directed by the court.
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That the respective Bar association shall ensure wide circulation of this
arrangement and the adjourned dates of hearing with respect to the regular matters to
avoid any inconvenience to the parties.
It is expected that all stake holders shall appreciate the existing extraordinary
situation and therefore shall conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the needs
and exigencies of the situation and confine their Urgency-applications to only extremely
Considering the importance of the measures intended for the safety and welfare
of health of stake holders, all concerned are requested to cooperate, in the interest of
10. The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the Authorized/Departmental
Representatives/Assessees-in-person for Court hearings through Video Conferencing and
the Joining Instructions in respect of the Video Conferencing are appended hereto as
Annexures 1 & 2.
This issues with the approval of Hon’ble President, ITAT.
Copies to: All concerned
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INCOME TAX APPELLATE TRIBUNAL, HYDERABAD ZONE
Guidelines/Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)
for Authorized/Departmental representative/ assessee-in-person
for Court Hearing through Video Conferencing
Having considered the various platforms available in the light of the experience
of other Institutions and the Instructions issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs,
Government of India, for the purposes of conducting virtual court hearing through the
mode of Video Conferencing, the “Google-Meet” Video Conference platform is found
preferable because of the security features, including the end-to-end encryption, ease
of use and suitable to the operating environment of the ITAT.
For a seamless conduct of the Virtual Court Proceedings, the following
Instructions/Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) are being issued for hearing of matters
through Video Conferencing.
Upon direction, the Registry shall process and list the matter for hearing before
the designated Hon’ble Bench. An invitation Link and Meeting ID for appearance and
viewing, as the case may be, will be sent by the Registry to the given mobile number (s)
by SMS at least one hour before the scheduled hearing. Please note that each of the
links so sent to any device is required to be unique and therefore, AR/DR/Assessee-in
person may not share or forward such link(s) to any other device nor shall they enable
others to join the hearing through Video Conference.
Only the AR/DR/Assessee-in-person are permitted to participate in the Virtual
Court Proceeding through Video Conference.
For the efficient and smooth functioning of the Virtual Court Proceeding,
AR/DR/Assessee-in-person are advised to secure, well-in-advance, a desktop or laptop
with uninterrupted power supply, video camera, microphones and speakers and display
unit, or a mobile device, like a mobile phone or tablet with the required battery backup;
compatible sitting arrangements ensuring privacy, availability of adequate lighting and
insulations/ proper acoustics as far as possible. In case of use of mobile phones, utmost
care must be taken to ensure that there is no interruption of the Virtual Court
Proceedings due to incoming calls.
The seamless conduct of the Virtual Court Proceedings is obviously dependent
upon and subject to the connectivity [signal-strength/bandwidth] available at the end
of the remote user(s), the AR/DR/Assessee-in person joining a video-conference hearing
shall ensure that robust connectivity and bandwidth are available at their end; in this
regard, Advocates/Parties-in-person are advised to use broadband connection of
minimum 2 mbps/dedicated 4G data connection. Further, AR/DR/Assessee-in-person
may also ensure that no other device or application is connected to using the bandwidth
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when the hearing by Video Conferencing is in progress on their computer (preferable),
mobile or any other device.
Care must be taken to see that there is no interruption to the proceedings due to
the background noise from any source.
AR/DR/Assessees-in-person are required to enter appearance in the dress/attire
prescribed for or befitting the dignity and majesty of the judicial proceedings, and as far
as possible, the Dress Regulations prescribed in Rule 17A of the Appellate Tribunal Rules,
1963 be adhered to.
Tribunal reserves the right to regulate the entry of AR/DR/Assessee-in-person into
the Virtual Conference Room and, in principle, it is decided to allow the entry of the
AR/DR/Assessee-in-person of two cases immediately following the case-in-progress. As
and when the matters in the cause list move forward, the AR/DR/Assessee-in-person of
the subsequent cases will be allowed to join.
For detailed joining instructions, please refer to Annexure-2 of the Circular.
PROTOCOL TO BE OBSERVED DURING THE HEARING IN VIRTUAL COURT ROOM
On entering the Virtual Court Room, the AR/DR/Assessee-in-person are required
to follow the following protocol for the smooth, efficient and dignified conduct of
They shall ensure that the Microphone (mic) is in mute mode till such time as
required to make submission(s); thus, when one party is making submissions, it is
imperative that all other participants shall keep their respective mics muted, failing
which the possibility of mic catching audio feed from the speakers and creating
‘echo/noise disturbance’ would become very high and may disturb the Virtual Court
Proceedings. It is strongly advised that ARS/ Parties-in-person should join the Virtual
Court Proceeding from a single device as joining the Virtual Court Room from two or
more devices from one location will cause echo and create disturbance in the Virtual
It may be ensured that the mobile phones are either switched off or kept on
vibrate or silent mode, and TV sets, radio etc, are switched off, lest they may cause
disturbance. Further, individual greetings (one-to-one) and crosstalk between the
AR/DR/Assessee-in-person at the commencement or during the proceedings are to be
strictly avoided. During the Court Proceedings, the participants are expected to
cooperate with the officials by complying with the suggestions extended from time to
time to meet any exigency.
When the case is called, arguing counsel shall introduce himself/ herself to the
Hon’ble Bench and thereafter, with the permission of the Hon’ble Bench, make
submissions. On completion of the submissions and/or when the Hon’ble Bench
requires or when a query is put to the arguing counsel, he shall at once ‘mute’ the mic
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of the respective device. Only with the permission of the Hon’ble Senior Member of
the Bench, the AR/DR/Assessee-in-person may ‘unmute’ the mic of the device to resume
his submissions. Otherwise, the mic must be kept on ‘mute’ mode only.
Simultaneous making of arguments by both parties should be strictly avoided at
any time. Either party may indicate a requirement to speak/submit by asking for
permission from Hon’ble Bench, by raising a hand. Once permitted by the Senior
Member of the Bench, the party may ‘unmute’ the mic and thereafter make submissions.
AR/DR/Assessee-in person shall remember that since they are participating in
COURT PROCEEINGS, it is expected that they would not resort to any indecorous
conduct or comment.
Further, since the recording/copying/storing and/or broadcasting, by any means,
of the hearings and proceedings before the Tribunal is not permissible, all the
stakeholders shall ensure that the proceedings by Video Conference are neither
recorded/stored nor broadcast, in any manner whatsoever.
AR/DR/Assessee-in-person are required to stay online till the hearing in their
matter is announced to be concluded by the senior Member of the Bench, and thereafter
the AR/DR/Assessee-in-person may disconnect from Video Conference, or the Registry
Official/Host will disconnect them.
Upon publication of the cause-list, the Registry may call any party and require to
test the device or its connectivity, and every such party is required to cooperate with
such staff/official and abide by the instructions given, so that the hearing by Video
Conference may be smoothly conducted.
For any related queries, the parties may contact the Nodal Officers (As detailed
in the Circular) designated in this regard or Helpline telephone number of 040-
27536887 of Sri K Subramanyam Setty, Office Superintendent in the Zonal
Headquarters at Hyderabad at his email
No.9963582135 or write to
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INCOME TAX APPELLATE TEIBUNAL, HYDERABAD ZONE
Instructions for joining the Virtual Court Room
Google Meet Video Meeting platform will be used for conducting judicial
proceedings before the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, Hyderabad Zone.
To join video conferencing on Google Meet platform on laptops or desktops,
parties are NOT required to download any software or application. They only
need to login to their Google Accounts.
After login to Google / Gmail, party shall click the Google Meet URL forwarded
by the Registry. This will take the parties to the Google Meet Portal, where they
shall click the Ask to join button.
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The Registry will admit the party only when their case will be taken up for
hearing. Therefore, the parties must wait till their request to admit is accepted
by the Registry.
Once admitted, the party will join the Video Meeting / Virtual Court Room. As
soon as he joins the meeting, he shall mute his audio and wait for further
instructions of the Bench.
As soon as the hearing of a party concludes, the Registry will disconnect them
from the Google Meet.
Google Meet can also be accessed from Android or iOS Devices as well. For
Android Devices, Google Meet App can be downloaded from Play Store
) and for iOS devices, the app can be downloaded from App Store
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Once the App is installed and
opened, it looks as under. Please
do not enter any details in the
screen. Just minimize the app:
Please open the Google Meet
Invitation (email) sent by the
Registry and click the URL. Then
the App opens and prompts the
parties to Ask to join.
The Registry will admit the party
when their case will be taken up
for hearing. Therefore, the parties
must wait till their request to admit
is accepted by the Registry.
Once admitted, the party will join
the Video Meeting / Virtual Court
Room. As soon as he joins the
meeting, he shall mute his audio
and wait for further instructions of
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In principle, it is decided to allow the entry of the AR/DR/Assessee-in-person of
two cases immediately following the case-in-progress. As and when the matters
in the cause list move forward, the AR/DR/Assessee-in-person of the subsequent
cases will be allowed to join.
Use appropriate controls to handle the audio and video. Please be acquainted
with these controls (to mute and unmute the mics, enable and disable video etc.)
beforehand to assist the Bench appropriately. Always, keep the mike in mute
state and unmute it only when asked by the Bench.
The AR/DR/Assessee-in-person should ensure that no electronic devices (mobiles
and/or audio/video systems) other than the device (laptop/desktop/mobile) used
for joining the hearing through video conferencing are in operation in the room
in order to avoid disturbance and tampering of audio quality of hearing.
Usage of Laptops / Desktops is highly recommended over mobile devices.
Always, keep the devices in stable position and do not disturb the setup during
hearings. Dedicated broadband connection with at least 2 Mbps bandwidth shall
be ensured for smooth functioning of the Bench.